Odorless&Transparent

"the deadliest bullshit is odorless and transparent" - William Gibson

Monday, June 28, 2004

In the Monday NYT, the folks at adbusters are running a full page ad for their Unbrand America campaign. Even though i cancelled my subscription to adbusters early this year, i still have their corporate logo version of the the American flag hanging in my bedroom.

Adbusters billed itself as "an ad free critique of consumer culture and the machine that drives it:, and for a while at least, they delivered on their promise and provided an interesting read. With their March/April 04 issue, where they singled out the "Jewish Neo-Cons", i had to draw the line and cancel my subscription.

While, unfortunately their quick descent into witch hunts and Jewish World Domination Theories shouldn't be that surprising, it hurt me and caught me a bit off guard. Don't they realize that they're sabotaging their own mission. They're subverting their own cause, constricting their own voice. I paid $40 a year for someone to hold up the mirror, for someone to poke fun at our consumerism, for someone to show us a glimpse of what the future of this country and our culture could look like if consumerism wasn't kept in check. I didn't pay money to hear some mean half-baked political opinions, even if they weren't biggoted.

the Unbrand America campaign states:
"We must seize the day. We must propose a better country during this anti-corporate mood, an America where the corrupt system is shaken to its foundations, an America where politics and the flag are put back in the hands of the people"
Yes. great. I support this cause entirely. The checks and balances in this country have gotten out of whack and the corporate roots run too deep. But to use the powerful image they created with the logo flag to make temporary political turmoil is asinine and counterproductive. To launch this mission on July 4th is just plain stupid.

The logo flag is great, it simply holds up the mirror, no more no less. run that as a full page ad. Don't ruin it by sticking it in some garbage about neocons. Don't destroy the power of that image by trying to draw media attention to it in some poorly executed ad campaign timed for maximum exposure and minimum impact. Seriously, what is the one day a year when the logo-flag image will be least noticable? what is the one day, when no matter how many they get out or get people to fly in public in the next week when the flag to logo-flag ratio will be highest? Oh, and if the message wasn't diluted enough already, lets unleash this campaign on a three-day weekend when everyone is feeling the worst about their crappy job and lousy treatment by the big nasty corporations. Absolute worst day of they year to actually get their version of the logo-flag message out.

The only reason to do it on July 4th is to be self-serving contrarians. They want the negative feedback. they want the talk show hosts and easily offended people on the street to yell at them, b/c then they feel that they're really giving it to the man. please. I'm keeping my logo-flag at home this fourth. I can enjoy eating hamburgers and watching some fireworks and smiling at kids w red, white, and blue face paint, and standing respectfully when the national anthem is played without one drop of irony or politics. There's some real problems out there. Problems that truly threaten the republic. but for just one day spare me the petiness and spare me the preachy revoltuion speak and spare me the agenda.

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